Osborn Wave

Other Known AliasesJ-wave, camel-hump, hypothermic hump

Definitionpositive deflection occurring at the junction between the QRS complex and ST segment, commonly referred to as the J point

Clinical Significance Osborn waves are classically seen in hypothermia with a core body temperature < 32°C (90°F), but also can be present in severe hypercalcemia, traumatic brain injury, and pericarditis. It is usually most prominent in the precordial leads.

NEJM. 2015

HistoryNamed after John J. Osborn (1917-2014), who was an American intensivist, and received his medical doctorate from Johns Hopkins University in 1943. He completed a nine-month residency in pediatrics before serving as an Army medical officer in World War II in the Pacific Theatre. He first published his preliminary animal research on hypothermia in 1943 before his military service, and picked it back up after returning stateside. He practiced from New York University to Stanford University and was a founding member of the Society of Critical Care Medicine. His research fostered the initial golden age of intensive care medicine and he worked on heart-lung machine designs, as well as hemodynamic monitoring devices. His eponymous paper was published in 1953 entitled “Experimental hypothermia; respiratory and blood pH changes in relation to cardiac function”


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